Saint Markella lived on the Greek island of Chios, at the end of the fifteeneth century.  Her mother was a devout Christian who raised Markella with great love for the holy Virgin Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Her father had no interest in spiritual matters.

Markella’s mother died when the girl was a young teen.  By the time Markella was in her twenties, she had become a beautiful and capable woman.  Her faith never wavered; in fact, it grew as she served her father and ran his household. 

As she grew in piety, her father grew in evil.  His depravity finally compelled him to pursue his own daughter for his sexual gratification.

Markella fled from her father’s advances, running for hours over rugged terrain.  Her body was bleeding from jagged thorns and her own father’s arrow.  She ran along the rocky coast, her blood dyeing the stones beneath her feet.  She never ceased praying to the Most Holy Mother of God.

Exhausted, she dropped into the shallow waters.  Her father rapidly approached.  But then the rocks beneath her opened up and she sunk down to her waist.  Unable to pull her out, he cut off her breasts with his knife.  She was crying out to Heaven, to her beloved Panagia, when her own father cut off her head.

We commemorate this Holy Virgin Martyr on July 22.

Blessed Bride of God, Saint Markella, pray that we may truly honor our parents through our love and obedience to them.  Pray also that we may perceive those rare and tragic times, if they follow the evil rather than the Good, when we must disobey and flee from them.  May God have mercy on us all.  Amen.

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Dismissal Hymn
Plagal of First Tone, Let us the faithful
by Metropolitan Petros of Astoria of blessed memory (1915-1997)

Thy virginity thou didst preserve most incorrupt*
And now thou has been numbered among those who dwell*
In the mansions of heaven. Thou didst reject *
Thy father’s advances for which *
He severed thy breasts and head*
O Markella; the glory of Chios!*
And now crowned as a martyr*
Thou wellest forth abundant miracles.

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